I care about cultures and environments –
and what it takes to make them livable.
I am a cultural anthropologist motivated by questions of care, value, and sustainability, particularly within organizations and small communities. My research on development and landscape conservation has taken me from rural villages in West Africa to the remote West Coast of Scotland.
I have always been curious about the ways people make a home in particular environments – how qualities of space, color, and atmosphere touch us and express our inner worlds. As a child, I would regularly approach strangers to ask them questions like, "What color is your house?" and "What color is the rug in your bedroom?" I sensed that there was something deeply human in the choices we make to adorn the spaces we live in. And that the work of fashioning environments does something to our bodies and our selves.
These curiosities are of course classically anthropological, but they have a place in society more broadly. How, for example, can we use anthropological sensibilities to create more livable cultures/environments within organizations? Schools? Neighborhoods? Cities? There are infinite possibilities to scale up this thinking and do good.
Culture is a field of shared practices and beliefs that gives meaningful structure to our lives. But if culture is acquired, it is also ours to change. In my research and work, I am dedicated to using anthropological insights to create worlds we want to live in.
Copyright © Mackenzie Cramblit 2019